Jerusalem highlights April 29-May 5

What's new to do in Israel's capital?

 JERUSALEM SYMPHONY Orchestra.  (photo credit: Avina Golan)
JERUSALEM SYMPHONY Orchestra.
(photo credit: Avina Golan)

FRIDAY, APRIL 29 

The holy month of Ramadan ends this week (between May 1-3). This is an excellent time for anyone opting to stay indoors to enjoy the best music from the Arab world offered by the National Library of Israel. From North African singer Saim Halali to Nour Alhouda from Lebanon, and Ooleya Mint Amartichitt from Mauritania, this music is a world of pleasure. To hear online: https://shorturl.ae/yNf2Q It is also possible to enjoy free online classes dealing with Islam and Arabic culture offered by the NLI (in Hebrew) here: https://live-events.nli.org.il/ramadan-times  

SATURDAY, APRIL 30 

Watch the 2021 documentary On the Threshold, which depicts the decade-long struggle of Tomer with clinical depression, at the Jerusalem Cinematheque tonight at 9 p.m. Afterward, meet director Yonatan Haimovich to discuss how he formed the trust needed to film a man who spent the last years in a room removed from his wife and children. Hebrew with English subtitles, discussion in Hebrew. To purchase tickets see: https://jer-cin.org.il/en/event/53869

Or watch the 2003 hit Israeli film Nina’s Tragedies at Cinema Rex tonight at 8 p.m. (Hebrew only). If you have not heard of it, Cinema Rex operates as part of Hamifal (3 Hamaravim St.) and is a great way to watch film classics at affordable prices. NIS 20 per ticket. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Book online here: https://www.eventer.co.il/n4yl. Learn more about upcoming films here: https://www.cineclub-rex.com/

SUNDAY, MAY 1 

Visit Nocturno Live (7 Betzalel St.) and listen to Amitai Aricha and the D-ONE project today at 9 p.m. as they perform Jewish-Yemenite spirituals. Admission is free.

Watch the 2016 documentary Ben-Gurion, Epilogue at 8 p.m. and discuss it with director Yariv Mozer at 9:30 p.m. Both the screening and the discussion are online. This is part of the ongoing efforts by Yonatan Nir Films to offer the public more access to such content. Admission is free providing you register online here: https://en.yonatannir.com/bengurion. Film and discussion are in Hebrew only. Donations are appreciated.

Starting from 1 p.m., readers can sign up to attend the Beit Avi Chai Memorial Service to honor those who had fallen in defense of this country (taking place on Tuesday at 9 p.m.). This is a hybrid event. To register (in Hebrew) see: https://www.bac.org.il/events/?eventID=15771

MONDAY, MAY 2 

If you missed the 2021 Israeli film All Eyes Off Me, which won several awards for its frank depiction of young Israelis and how they date and live, you can watch it via Lev VOD (NIS 20 per ticket). If Hebrew-speaking films are not your cup of tea today, consider the 2021 US film Catch the Fair One with boxer Kali Reis taking on the role of Kaylee, a young woman searching for her lost sister. For more, see here (Hebrew site only): https://ticket.lev.co.il/

TUESDAY, MAY 3

Visit Beit Avi Chai (44 King George St.) to attend a special event that combines animation screening and an open space memorial service to those who had given their lives to defend this nation. The evening will be shared via Zoom as well. A Face. The Day. A Memorial weaves the personal stories of fallen IDF soldiers as retold in animation and music, often with their family members present. Today at 9 p.m. (doors open at 8:15 p.m.). Dress warmly.  

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4 

Listen as conductor Steven Sloane leads the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in a special Independence Day performance of “Revival of the Dead” by composer Noam Sheriff at 9 p.m. NIS 110 per ticket, Jerusalem Theatre, 20 Marcus St. 

Sheriff composed the work in 1986 to mark the opening of the Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam. It invites the listener to a musical journey of the Jewish Diaspora, the Holocaust, and the formation of the State of Israel.

THURSDAY, MAY 5 

Leave the city to take part in the 10th Sufi Festival held this year at Kfar Hanokdim. If you’re old enough to remember Sufi Sam (Samuel Lewis), one of the first people to bring Islamic mysticism to the US, or enjoy world music so much that the name Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan rings a bell or two – this outstanding event is for you.

Kamancheh master Mark Eliyahu will perform at 9:30 p.m. Harel Shachar and his Sufi Orchestra will play music and whirl on Saturday at noon in a  homage to the Turkish Mevlevi Order (whirling dervishes). Gil Ron Shama will perform at the dhikr (remembrance of God) square. Not only will great music be played, but you could also meet Prof. Sara Sviri who will discuss Sufi tradition, and buy a few books from Yaqub ibn Yusuf, who maintains the spiritual bookstore Olam Qatan in Jerusalem (at the First Station). 

Tickets are sold in phases, so now (the third phase) they are NIS 560 per ticket and will be NIS 590 for the fourth. Children from 2-18 years of age enter for NIS 200. Those who are low on cash but have the time might consider becoming a helper, offering working hours in exchange for a free ticket. Tickets are for the entire three-day event (until Saturday night). For more details, see: https://sufifestival.co.il/english2018/

Throwing a good party? Opening an art exhibition or a new bar? Bringing in a guest speaker to introduce a fascinating topic? Why not drop me a line at [email protected] and let In Jerusalem know about it? Send emails with “Jerusalem Highlights” in the subject line. While all information is welcome, we cannot guarantee it will be featured in the column. Due to COVID-19 we advise readers to phone ahead or check online to ensure listed events have not been changed at the last minute.